A book I bought myself from the lovely Jane Badger Books – Jane republishes classic horse and pony books that have gone out of print, doing lots of research on the original texts, covers and illustrations – a very apt candidate for Kaggsysbookishramblings and LizzySiddal’s “Read Indies month“! You can find Jane’s books here and a lovely interview I did with her for Shiny New Books here. Although I’m still reading books acquired in 2019, this was a lovely one to pick off the TBR shelf and I fairly galloped (sorry!) through it!

Diana Pullein-Thompson -“I Wanted a Pony”

(15 January 2020)

A classic pony story but a very down-to-earth one, which I really appreciated. There is grumpiness and a distinct lack of miracles, although we do have the standard pony novel aspects of absent parents and a way to get hold of a pony of one’s own …

Augusta, desperate for a pony like the ones the fancy cousins she has to live with will occasionally let her ride, has to work hard to improve her riding, previously learned on a recalcitrant Shetland with a far more fun-seeming friend, teaching the small pony tricks and bouncing around. She has to work hard to save up to buy a pony at an auction and then to work out what on Earth is wrong with him: she also looks after her own pony, unlike her cousins, who outsource all the work to their stable hand. There’s a lot of bad temper and bickering and sitting on her own with a book: Augusta gets on better with the servants than she does with her family, and I like that about her.

In this matter-of-fact novel, girl and pony do not end up at Olympia but at the local show, and that’s something else I liked about it: a lot more relatable than some books, although of course we have a young teen wandering the lanes on her own quite a lot!

There’s a publishing history in the back, a bio of Diana Pullein-Thompson and an explanation of show-jumping faults, plus the original text and illustrations.